Blackboard Upgrade (9.1) July 2011

Project background

Blackboard OLE at Bristol consists of core Blackboard Learn software augmented by a range of open source and proprietary functionality (called Building Blocks).

We regularly upgrade the core Blackboard Learn software. While we are very conscious that changing software can be disruptive for Blackboard users and may require staff to update their Blackboard skills, regular upgrades are important to fix software bugs. Manufacturers generally reduce and then withdraw support for older versions of software, for example Blackboard 9.1 has enhanced support for the latest version of many popular web browsers like Chrome. Upgrades also make available new functionality, last year the upgrade radically improved the Blackboard interface, this year's upgrade streamlines the management of course documents.

Project status

In July 2011 we completed the upgrade from Blackboard 8 to 9.1. The upgrade was a significant one, in part because it enabled the institutional deployment of the Content System for all course content.

A replacement service (exact copy of the live service) was provided to minimise disruption to users, which reduced total service unavailability to under 2 hours.

How can I find out more about Blackboard 9.1?

The ESU have been running a series of "What's new in Blackboard Roadshows" in Faculties, Schools and Departments to provide a summary of key new features, which includes:

  • Drag and drop file upload, including batch file upload
  • The ability to use single files in multiple courses
  • Improvements to the GradeCentre e.g. the Needs Marking view
  • Re-usable rubrics
  • Quick and simple tool to add YouTube, Slideshare and Flikr content.

Project Contact

Hilary Griffiths,